Archive for the ‘Siding’ Category

Advantages of Vinyl Siding

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012
Vinyl Siding Replacement

Home with replacement vinyl siding.

If you’ve ever seen a house that had a lot of unsightly seams, then you know that there’s a downside to purchasing certain types of vinyl siding. Still, many people are choosing to replace their existing siding with vinyl, and it does have many distinct advantages that every homeowner should be aware of. Here are just a few.



Vinyl Siding is Maintenance Free

Unlike other popular types of siding such as plywood, vinyl siding never needs to be painted. It also resists termites, which in some parts of the country can save homeowners thousands of dollars in repair bills. If you don’t have the time or the money to devote to maintaining your home’s siding, then choosing vinyl can save you a lot of headaches.

Vinyl Siding Can Be Energy Efficient

According to its critics, one of vinyl’s biggest drawbacks is that it doesn’t provide any insulation. While this is true of non-insulated vinyl, you can now purchase vinyl siding that is backed with foam insulation. While some types of wood siding also provide homes with an extra layer of insulation, the energy savings are offset by the cost of upkeep.

Vinyl Siding Can Have Great Curb Appeal

As with any product, if you buy the cheapest version of vinyl siding, or if it’s improperly installed, then it won’t look as good as you want it to. Luckily, there are brands of vinyl siding that are designed with this problem in mind. If you don’t want visible seams, then you don’t have to have them. It’s up to you.

Vinyl Siding is Inexpensive

Besides its initial cost, when you add up the savings from lower energy bills and not having to paint or repair termite damage, then you’ll see why vinyl siding is the best available option. There’s really nothing like it. Let’s take a look at a before and after of an older home with replacement vinyl siding..

Photo of older home before vinyl siding installation.

Photo with replacement vinyl siding installed.

See the difference??

If your home’s siding is not what it used to be, then replacing it with vinyl is a great way to save money and keep your house looking good for decades.

Why not look into vinyl siding today?

Staining Brick Siding

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

brick-siding21Staining brick during masonry projects is a common practice among professional contractors. They usually only do this to individual bricks to make them match the others in a batch. This is sometimes required because it is difficult to get absolute consistency from one batch of manufactured bricks to the next. Staining brick already in place as part of a wall is more difficult and time consuming than painting, but the results are more elegant. The stains used are proprietary in nature and are brick specific. Consult a brick supplier when considering stain as part of masonry repair.

DIY Repair or Professional Help

A local brick supplier can recommend a base brick that comes close to one used for your home. If the brick used in your siding is still manufactured, they might be able to order you a very close match. They can also suggest a good stain product and a professional who knows how to apply it properly. Having a professional do the job for you and ensure that it looks right might be especially important for highly visible areas of the exterior facade of your home. You can perform the job yourself if there are only a few bricks that need to be stained to match the rest of the wall. If there is a large area that needs to be stained, this is more difficult. The masking required to protect the mortar can be very time consuming.

Painting Siding – Spray vs. Brush

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

Time to start paintingWood and composite siding must generally be repainted or given a touch up every few years. Applying more than one layer of paint is usually a good idea. The first coat is more of an insulating layer, while the second is for resisting wear and tear. Some home improvement experts recommend that the primer, sealer and first layer of paint be brushed on. The finish coat can be sprayed.

Using a Brush

A brush allows the primer and paint to be thoroughly worked into the surface of the siding. This is a necessity for long-term durability. The problem with brush application is that the appearance of the paint can look uneven unless extreme care is taken. This greatly increases the amount of time necessary to do the job properly.

It is important not to overload the paint brush. Instead, it should be loaded lightly with paint at the tip of the brush hairs. The handle of the paintbrush should be held gently as if it were a pencil or pen. Most of the handle should be sticking up through the space in between the thumb and forefinger. Holding and working the paint brush like a writing instrument allows far greater control and creates less spillage.

Using a Spray Gun

Spray painting with an air compressor and nozzle is much faster than painting by hand.If this application mode is used for all coats, care must be taken to cover the siding’s surface completely. When done properly, the surface tends to dry evenly. A spray paint finish coat can make the entire paint job look much more professional.

Spraying should be done in a back and forth motion that overlaps portions already covered. Even motion must be maintained and should not be too slow. Too much paint applied in any one location will cause dripping. Because droplets are sprayed into the air, tiny paint particles can easily be breathed in. It’s best to wear a protective mask and protective clothing when spray painting. Overspray is likely with this method, so any areas that need to remain paint-free should be draped or masked.

Painting Brick Siding

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

painted-brick-sidingPainting a brick house is not a project that should be done on a whim. It is a large undertaking that commits you to continued exterior maintenance throughout the lifespan of the house. Once you coat brick siding, you cannot go back and remove the paint unless you replace the affected masonry or use expensive sandblasters. Regardless, you are committed to a totally new look.

Prepare The Surface

Preparing the exterior brick surface is an extensive task. It includes the following: cleaning, repairing (includes sealing & caulking around windows), and priming. Removal of stains can be done with a spray washer at about 1,500 to 2,000 psi. Be careful not to damage any of the mortar or you will have more repair work to do. A stiff brush can sometimes help to remove debris and stains. The brick surface must be ultra clean for the primer to adhere properly.


After a thorough cleaning, use primer on any stained or repaired areas first. These spots may require a second coat after you’ve have primed the rest of the home’s exterior. Fast drying 100% acrylic primers are recommended.


Actually painting brick can be difficult. All the bumps, grooves and pits that are part of the natural surface of brick can impede the application of a consistent coat. While a paintbrush can be used, it requires more effort on brick than it would when painting a smooth surface. For this reason, painting with a compressor and a spray nozzle is recommended.

Bamboo Siding – Real and Fake Options

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

bambooThe versatility of fast-growing bamboo plants is just amazing. As a truly renewable resource, this woody substance is considered eco-friendly. Building materials made from high quality bamboo are strong and weather resistant. Entire homes have been built in some parts of the world using nothing but bamboo. Given these facts, it’s not surprising to hear that there is such a thing as bamboo siding. In modern construction, it is rare to see a whole home veneered with bamboo siding. More often, it is used for decorative purposes to accent parts of the home with a tropical feel.

Real Bamboo

Bamboo can be carefully processed to simulate hardwood flooring and real wood siding. The material must be specially treated with several chemicals and sealed with polyurethane before it can be used as a reliable siding material. It’s often sold in prefabricated interlocking panels for easy installation. Not all authentic bamboo products are created equal. Bamboo harvested too early in its life cycle is generally substandard and easily damaged. In contrast, bamboo harvested from mature stock tends to be extremely durable. If you can dent the material with your thumbnail, it is poor quality and shouldn’t be used for interior or exterior home improvement projects.

Faux Bamboo

Some of the bamboo siding on the market is not really bamboo at all. Also, not all imitation bamboo is the same. The cheap stuff can be less expensive than real bamboo, but is not nearly as durable. On the other hand, high quality faux bamboo is made entirely from a polyurethane veneer and is artfully sculpted to look like the real thing. The accurate color and textural details make this product difficult to distinguish from actual bamboo even on close inspection. It has to be custom made which adds to the price, but it is actually tougher than bamboo. It can better withstand heat, moisture, cold, and sunlight without ever cracking or fading. Polyurethane is also lightweight. Faux bamboo siding also comes in interlocking panels for quick and easy installation for a DIY project.